Category Archives: travel

New Year’s Eve at Heathrow plus Other Mini Adventures

[December 28, 2017 through January 2, 2018 Greater London metro area, UK]

So, hopped on a British Airways 747, London had no clouds (shock!) so took an overhead shot; then once on the ground, went to the former location of the Embassy of the Republic of Texas. After that’s met up with Paula and World and went to the Starfury New Year’s Eve party at the Renaissance Hotel by Heathrow airport.

The party was a bust because it basically just one big room and a DJ playing songs and, well, it was really not that great. The hotel itself was okay, we mostly spent our time in the concierge lounge and at the hotel restaurant. They had Caffrey’s! Cool beans. But, it gets sinister after that…

The Marriott Renaissance Hotel Heathrow sucked big time on New Year’s Eve. After trying to get a bottle of Champagne near midnight on the 31st, they said their registers were down and could not server any drinks. This is beyond lack of customer service, it is an calculated active screw over all the customers move. The Renaissance Hotel Heathrow actually snubbed all of the guest at the hotel and held a mini-party at the closed bar for the staff! The entire staff at the bar and front desk of the Renaissance Hotel Heathrow needs to be made redundant and re-staffed. Horrific that they would pull that kind of stunt. They could have easily have had their mini-party in the corner without bothering massively inconveniencing guests at the hotel! And it wasn’t “any other day”, it was New Year’s Eve of all days! Absolutely not-brilliant! I, along with others at the hotel for New Years’ Eve were extremely not pleased. I certainly will not go back to the Renaissance Hotel Heathrow ever. I 100% dis-recommend Renaissance Hotel Heathrow.

Well, other than the bad New Year’s Eve moment, Paula, World, and I did have an entertaining weekend. Even the disaster was entertaining – after the fact next day, of course πŸ™‚


Embassy of the Republic of Texas, London, UK

Another Adventure – Colchester, UK with Paula and World

[June 26, 2017 through July 4, 2017 Colchester, UK]

SO, Over the years, I go to London and meet up with Paula and World (not his real name) in London. So I thought it would be good to go meet them where they live – in Colchester. About an hour away by train from central London…

So Colchester is to the east of London. I also circled Penzance which has nothing to do with this current story but I thought it would be cool to visit since it’s all the way “at the end” of England. And yes, that’s where the “Pirates of Penzance” by Gilbert and Sullivan occur…

But I digress. So here are the pictures from flight (outgoing via AA Boeing 787), my visit to Sherlock Holmes by Charring Cross (of course as usual, etc.), my stay this time at the InterContinental by O2 (that’s oh-two, not zero-two) and of course pics at Colchester and there was a Colchester festival going on, a few pics are from there… Sorry I didn’t annotate the pics well this time. Click on pic below for more pictures:


Dr. Chippy’s in Colchester

Portland Maine 31-Mar to 01-Apr 2017 Brewery Tours

[Mar 31 through April 02 2017, Portland, Maine, US]

So, it’s a weekend up in Portland – no, not Oregon; Portland, Maine. I went to a bunch of breweries. On Friday, March 31, 2017, I visited Allagash Brewery and Foundation Brewery. Allagash Brewery allagash.com tour and of course sampled their current beers on tap. Interestingly, you can go to Allagash once a day and get their beer free. No refills, just once, but once per day everyday! Amazing. Then, Foundation Brewery foundationbrew.com was next. It was just across the street, so I just walked over. Had a flight at the Foundation brewery. No tour, just beer πŸ™‚

Saturday was Main Brew Bus Tour time: themainebrewbus.com – but it snowed… I called the Maine Brew Bus tors and asked them if the tour was still on. They said yes. So cool! Took Lyft downtown and waited for the others. Other than the guide and the bus driver, I was the only guy on the bus πŸ™‚ It was a bachelorette party. Cool beans, so we all hopped on the bus and went to three Breweries.

Here are the pictures in order. Friday – Allagash, then Foundation, Saturday – Maine Brew Bus:


Maine Brew Bus, Portland Maine, US

Dirigo dirigobrewingcompany.com – cool brewery, right next to a river. Amazing place. Great beer of course. Banded Horn bandedhorn.com– no tour, just hung around and sample their beer. Barreled Souls barreledsouls.com– small batch brewery. Cool and amazing.

Panama City and Canal Feb 09-12 2017

[Feb 09-12 2017, Panama City and Canal, Panama]

So, another exciting adventure. Panama Canal! I hopped on a small (but fast) tour boat and did a “half-transit”. Tour bus up to Gamboa. Then onto the boat and headed down toward Panama City (Pacific Ocean). Here are the pictures (click on either one to see them all):


View from the Hotel InterContinental Panama


Map of the tour route – inland to the Pacific…